info@airnews.co.za  | +27 31 564 1319 

Connecting Skies Bridging Continents

ARGENTINA BOLSTERS AIR DEFENSE WITH F-16 ACQUISITION FROM DENMARK

In a significant development reshaping the military dynamics in South America, Argentina has concluded a deal to procure 24 used Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters from Denmark.

The formal agreement was sealed on April 16th during the visit of Argentine defence minister Luis Petri to Denmark, marking a milestone in Argentina’s aviation history by reintroducing supersonic combat aircraft to its arsenal after more than a decade.


“This marks our most crucial military aviation acquisition since 1983,” stated Petri, alluding to Argentina’s military setback in the Falklands War. “With these new aircraft, we are advancing our defence capabilities, reclaiming supersonic prowess, and embracing the technological challenges of the 21st century.”


Petri’s arrival at the meeting, notably in the back seat of a Royal Danish Air Force F-16, underscored the significance of the occasion. Photographs from the ceremony captured the defence minister donning an olive green flight suit against the backdrop of an F-16 adorned with the Argentine air force’s blue-and-white roundel.


While specific details of the deal, including cost and delivery timelines, remain undisclosed by the defence ministry, Argentina is set to receive a mix of single-seat F-16A and two-seat F-16B models, catering to both combat and advanced pilot training requirements.


Included in the agreement are provisions for four flight simulators, eight engines, and a five-year guarantee on spare parts, alongside comprehensive training programs for pilots and mechanics.


Denmark’s transition to the fifth-generation F-35A prompted the retirement of its ageing F-16 fleet, with 19 aircraft earmarked for donation to Ukraine and the remaining 24 slated for sale to Argentina.


This acquisition signals a significant enhancement to Argentina’s air combat capabilities, which have been limited to aging subsonic light attack jets since the retirement of its Dassault Mirage fighters in 2015.


Argentina’s access to advanced military technology has long been constrained, primarily stemming from diplomatic fallout following the Falklands War. However, recent developments, including tacit approval from the US State Department for the F-16 transfer, indicate a thawing in international restrictions.


The decision to acquire F-16s, an American-made platform, underscores Argentina’s strategic pivot and aligns with US interests in countering geopolitical rivals. This move also potentially forestalls alternative deals with competitors like China, which had offered the JF-17 fighter, circumventing export restrictions.


The UK government’s softened stance on arms sales to Argentina further facilitated the transaction, signalling a nuanced approach towards military cooperation.


With this acquisition, Argentina aims to achieve parity in air combat capabilities within South America, where regional neighbours like Chile and Brazil have bolstered their fleets with advanced fighter aircraft.

The formal agreement was sealed on April 16th during the visit of Argentine defense minister Luis Petri to Denmark, marking a milestone in Argentina’s aviation history by reintroducing supersonic combat aircraft to its arsenal after more than a decade.

“This marks our most crucial military aviation acquisition since 1983,” stated Petri, alluding to Argentina’s military setback in the Falklands War. “With these new aircraft, we are advancing our defense capabilities, reclaiming supersonic prowess, and embracing the technological challenges of the 21st century.”


Petri’s arrival at the meeting, notably in the back seat of a Royal Danish Air Force F-16, underscored the significance of the occasion. Photographs from the ceremony captured the defense minister donning an olive green flight suit against the backdrop of an F-16 adorned with the Argentine air force’s blue-and-white roundel.


While specific details of the deal, including cost and delivery timelines, remain undisclosed by the defense ministry, Argentina is set to receive a mix of single-seat F-16A and two-seat F-16B models, catering to both combat and advanced pilot training requirements.


Included in the agreement are provisions for four flight simulators, eight engines, and a five-year guarantee on spare parts, alongside comprehensive training programs for pilots and mechanics.


Denmark’s transition to the fifth-generation F-35A prompted the retirement of its ageing F-16 fleet, with 19 aircraft earmarked for donation to Ukraine and the remaining 24 slated for sale to Argentina.


This acquisition signals a significant enhancement to Argentina’s air combat capabilities, which have been limited to aging subsonic light attack jets since the retirement of its Dassault Mirage fighters in 2015.


Argentina’s access to advanced military technology has long been constrained, primarily stemming from diplomatic fallout following the Falklands War. However, recent developments, including tacit approval from the US State Department for the F-16 transfer, indicate a thawing in international restrictions.


The decision to acquire F-16s, an American-made platform, underscores Argentina’s strategic pivot and aligns with US interests in countering geopolitical rivals. This move also potentially forestalls alternative deals with competitors like China, which had offered the JF-17 fighter, circumventing export restrictions.


The UK government’s softened stance on arms sales to Argentina further facilitated the transaction, signalling a nuanced approach towards military cooperation.


With this acquisition, Argentina aims to achieve parity in air combat capabilities within South America, where regional neighbours like Chile and Brazil have bolstered their fleets with advanced fighter aircraft.

Share the Post:

RELATED POSTS